Taxis play a dominant role in public transport in South Africa. Not only are they a key feature on South African roads, but they are the main source of transport for millions of passengers daily. The industry has historically been mostly unregulated. Not only has this caused controversy for decades, but it also makes the industry somewhat difficult to monitor. Recent studies have shown that the taxi industry generates around R90 billion annually! This, however, is only a general estimate due to the difficulty in tracking the industry. Things are about to change.
What You Need To Know About The E-Ticketing System
An e-ticketing system is about to be introduced to the industry. The system aims to streamline the payment as well as auditing processes of the industry. The pilot project has already been launched in Johannesburg, and based on its success is expected to be rolled out across the Province, and thereafter, the country. The total roll-out is expected to take place over the next five years.
The system is owned and will be rolled out by FairPay and TaxiChoice. Santaco is the sole shareholder with Curve Group Holdings acting as the sole technology provider. Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi has welcomed the update in the industry.
“The standard that must be strived for is ‘One Province, One Ticket’, in line with the national electronic fare collection regulations,” said MEC Vadi.
The system aims to move away from the current, outdated cash system which has till now, proven problematic. No longer will passengers need to worry about not having the right amount or not receiving change. The industry will work on a top-up card system.
The benefits of the system will increase as the phases of implementation are slowly rolled out:
Commuters can top up their cards at kiosks situated at taxi ranks
Kiosks and top-up stations will eventually be available at retail outlets
The card will eventually progress into being a debit card due to it being a fully compliant EMV bank card
The card will eventually allow for reduced fees for pensioners and persons with disabilities
Taxis are also expected to carry GPS equipment and allow for WIFI to be accessed on the journey.
Stats Of The Taxi Industry In SA
With the lack of regulation, it has been tough to track the value and annual earnings from the industry. Despite Reuters putting the annual income at around R50 billion, experts are pushing it closer to the R90 billion mark.
One taxi usually makes around R1 236 per day, R37 500 per month and R450 000 a year
It is estimated that there are around 250 000 taxis on the roads currently
The average taxi travels around 6 500kms per month
The industry employs 600 000 people
15 million commuters travel on taxis every day
Taxi drivers earn between R800-R1 000 per week
In many cases, they rent a taxi from the owner for R10 00 per month and take additional profits on top of that
Owners in other cases will take 30- 45% of the profits per week.